WEEK ONE: STORY

You are a natural born story teller!

We are constantly creating stories about the world around us.  Stories about ourselves.  Stories about others.  Stories about God.  Stories about what’s possible.  Stories about what’s impossible.   We live in constant conversation – with ourselves! It’s how we make sense of the world around us.

You are such an artist!

To show you how this happens naturally, look at the picture below and notice the story you develop about the girl in the picture.  Do not read any further.  Pull out your journal and answer these questions:

child-cryingWhere is she from?

What is taking place?

What is she feeling?

What is she experiencing?

What is your experience of her?

How would you interact with her?

 

 

Now, consider this scenario:  She has just been freed from a sex trafficking ring in Chicago after being held hostage and abused for 6 months.  She has just seen her family for the first time and is overwhelmed with hope and freedom.  Her life has just been taken from the shackles of darkness, and she has been brought into the light.

How does the story you wrote in your head change?

We’re always gathering information from the world around us, and giving it meaning.  We are constantly interpreting ourselves, our relationships, God, etc. and creating a story about it.  Unlike Crime Scene Investigators that collect evidence, examine it and then recreate the story,  we often do the opposite.  Our tendency is to write the story and then collect evidence to validate our story.  Any evidence that doesn’t fit our story gets dismissed, twisted or we are completely blind to it.

The stories we write determine what we see as possible.

Now, consider the story you have written about the situation that you are using the toolbox for.  Using the prompts below, take some time to write out the story that you have created around this relationship, situation or circumstance.  Exaggerate the language, as if you were telling an epic tale.  Use lots of descriptors and include feelings as well.

For example, instead of writing “My boss is difficult to work with,” you might write “After working with my incompetent, demeaning and irresponsible boss day after grueling day, I feel exhausted, frustrated and completely worthless.”

Also, resist the need to tell the “right” story or what you “should” say.  Leave your editor at the door and take a moment to be honest with yourself.  No one will see this but you!

 

STORY EXERCISE:

First, Write out the story about the situation or the relationship.  Include yourself, others and describe in epic detail what is taking place.  Make it big, bold and be honest!

Now… let’s get into the details of the characters.  Use these prompts to help you out:

WHO OR WHAT ARE THE VILLAINS IN YOUR STORY?
Who or what are the “bad guys” in your story?  These are the people that get in the way, the circumstances that are immovable, the thing that is arch-enemy numero uno.

VILLAIN #1:

It is / they are the villain because:

The way I feel about it / them is:

 

VILLAIN #2:

It is / they are the villain because:

The way I feel about it / them is:

 

VILLAIN #3:

It is / they are the villain because:

The way I feel about it / them is:

 

WHO OR WHAT ARE THE HEROES IN YOUR STORY?
Who are the people or circumstances that are the “good guys” in the story?  These are the things or people that are on your side and fighting for you.

HERO #1:

It is / they are the hero because:

The way I feel about it / them is:

 

HERO #2:

It is / they are the hero because:

The way I feel about it / them is:

 

HERO #3:

It is / they are the hero because:

The way I feel about it / them is:

 

WHO ARE YOU IN THE STORY?

In this story, I am:

My superpowers are (my strengths):

My fatal flaws are (my weaknesses):

The feelings I have about myself are:

 

WHO IS GOD IN THIS STORY:

In this story, God is:

The feelings I have about God are:

 

Write a few sentences about what you are feeling physically in your body right now.

 

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!